~ by Brian Rowe, EarthBeat, National Catholic Reporter
Renewing his “urgent call to respond to the ecological crisis,” Pope Francis invited the 1.3 billion Catholics worldwide to join in a week of celebration and action in May commemorating the fifth anniversary of “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home .”
In a video message March 3, Francis officially announced Laudato Si’ Week, set to take place May 16 – 24. Throughout the nine days, the Pope has asked the global Catholic community to undertake ambitious actions to address the mounting environmental perils facing the planet and its people – climate change; ecosystems in the Amazon, Australia and the Artic approaching tipping points ; and the unprecedented threat of biodiversity loss  facing 1 million plant and animal species.
The initiative is the latest spearheaded by the Vatican under Francis, who throughout his seven-year papacy has persistently called Catholics and non-Catholics alike to an ecological conversion to safeguard the environment and preserve its natural resources for present and future generations.
The one-minute video opens with soaring images of mountains cloaked by clouds as Francis repeats a question he first posed in Laudato Si’ : “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who will come after us, to children who are growing up?”
It then cuts to footage of young people taking part in a climate demonstration, shouting: “What do we want ? Climate justice. When do we want it? Now.”
“I renew my urgent call to respond to the ecological crisis,” the Pope continues. “The cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor cannot continue. Let’s take care of creation, a gift of our good Creator God. Let’s celebrate Laudato Si’ Week together.”
Planning has been underway for months within the Vatican and numerous Catholic organizations around the world to mark the anniversary. Those discussions have sought ways to catalyze the collective church to live out Catholic teaching on caring for creation by reducing environmental impact, and to press for substantial measures from world leaders to curtail a rapidly warming climate.
Global Catholic Climate Movement said, “With about one-sixth of the world’s population organized in more than 220,000 parishes around the globe, the Catholic Church plays a unique and vital role in addressing the environmental crisis.”